Article ID : 00246115 / Last Modified : 05/25/2022Print

How to test if a remote control is sending an Infrared (IR) signal

    IMPORTANT: This article applies only to specific products and/or operating systems. Check Applicable Products and Categories for details.

    An IR Remote Control sends out infrared light signals. You can't see infrared lights with your eyes, however, it may be visible with the use of a digital camera, cellphone camera, or camcorder.

    • IR remote controls have the (IR) IR logo symbol. However, IR remote controls of Android TV™ devices released in 2016 don't have the IR symbol

    Before you start

    You'll need one of the following devices to test if your remote control sends infrared signals:

    • Digital still camera
    • Camcorder
    • Cellphone with camera

    Check if the IR Remote Control sends Infrared signals

    1. Turn on your camera or the camera on your cellphone.
    2. Point the end of the remote control with the IR emitter to the camera or camcorder lens or cellphone screen.
    3. Press and hold one of the buttons on the remote control.
    4. Look at the viewfinder or LCD screen.
      • If the remote control sends a signal, you should see a light in the viewfinder or cellphone screen when you press buttons on the remote control.

        IR light


    • You can't use some mobile phones and certain models of iPhone® because its built-in cameras have a filter that removes IR light. Use a different device or contact the manufacturer to determine if you can disable the IR filter.
    • If you see the infrared light even when you don't press a button, one of the buttons on the remote may be stuck and other buttons may no longer work. If this is the case:
      1. Remove the batteries.
      2. Press and release each button a couple of times to see if you can free the stuck button.
      3. Reinsert the batteries and test the remote again.
    • You can also test each of the buttons on the remote. Press them one at a time and check if you can see the infrared light.
    • Use fresh batteries on the remote.
      • The battery power may be low if you don't see the infrared light or its dim when you press a button.
    • Replace the remote control if you continue to see a light even if you don't press any button or if you can't see the infrared light when you press a specific button.